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Want to Skip the Hassle and Hire Movers? Find Out What They Won’t or Shouldn’t Move For You


A Guide to What to Pack Yourself
Posted: August 20, 2019 by Marissa McCormick

Packing everything and worrying about all the paperwork is stressful enough.  Then you have to move and unpack everything again when you finally move.  Some people prefer to just pay movers to do it for them and make the process a lot easier on themselves.  If you are one of those people or would like to be, there are some things you should know.  For one thing, there are a few items that movers will refuse to touch or that you should want to handle yourself.  Knowing what they will, won’t, and shouldn’t move will help tremendously when the time comes.  Here are some standard moving items that are on most mover’s stay away from list.

Food/Perishable Items- Food can mold or drawl in insects, bugs and animals while being transported.  Even frozen food is usually not something movers will mess with.  Make sure to prepare ahead of time a plan for what you want to do with all of your perishable items and try not to buy a lot of groceries before the big moving day so there won’t be as much to take care of.  Consume as much of your leftover groceries as possible, use a cooler to transport frozen/cold food, share with family and friends, or donate the rest to those in need such as a food bank or soup kitchens.

Dangerous Items- Some things in your home can be dangerous under certain conditions such as chemicals or pressurized cans.  Some things can catch on fire, explode, or have a chemical reaction and can hurt someone or damage equipment.  For this reason, most movers won’t agree to move:

Cleaners and poisons - bleach, ammonia, pool chemicals, pesticides

Accelerants, fire starters, and vehicle fluids - gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, lamp oil, charcoal lighter fluid, nail polish and remover, fireworks, matches, lighters

Caustic items - batteries (car, household, shop), acids, bases

Certain hobby materials and chemicals - paints, paint thinner, stripping fluids, varnishes, garden chemicals (including pesticides, fertilizer, herbicides), laboratory chemicals, photography chemicals, ammunition, gun reloading materials

Pressurized containers - fire extinguishers, aerosol cans, propane tanks, scuba tanks, disposable lighters


Animals and Plant Life
- It does depend on the mover, but the majority will not mess with moving your animals or houseplants. Usually anything that won’t move they will agree to transport but if something may get injured, sick, or die in their custody they will usually not agree to move it because of the liability.  No one wants to get blamed because the puppy jumped out of the truck while they were tending to other items.  With this being the case it’s usually safer for you to make sure your animals and plants make it to your new place safe and sound.  Not to mention you will probably take better care of them because they are busy with other things and moving vehicles are not usually known for good air circulation or light.

Things You’re Better Off Packing Yourself- Some things are fragile, valuable, confidential, or irreplaceable and would be better off in your care to make sure it arrives safely.  You may have an insurance policy that will cover damage or lost goods but if it’s something of sentimental value consider how upset you would be not being able to recover or replace such as your great grandfathers watch or an antique heirloom. Even if your movers are willing to move these for you, here are some things you should really consider packing yourself:

Legal and financial documents - wills, property deeds, vehicle titles, tax and investment records, insurance policies, diplomas, birth and marriage certificates, divorce decrees and property settlements, checks, credit cards, and banking and credit card statements

Personal collections - coins, stamps, jewelry, historical items, gemstones, sterling silver, gold, platinum

Personal media - photographs, photo and wedding albums, framed photos, DVDs, videotapes, physical and digital files, desktop and laptop computers, cellphones, tablets

Identification and security - driver’s licenses, passports, and keys (to car, house, safe, safety deposit box, locks, etc.)

Personal health - medical records, dental records, written prescriptions, prescription medicines

Sentimental items - letters and cards, scrapbooks, journals, yearbooks, heirlooms

Moving can be a stressful event but there are things you can do like hiring professionals to do it for you that can make it easier.  You want your belongings to arrive in the condition they left your previous place in, and if you plan in advance what will and won’t be packed by movers you can save yourself a ton of hassle.  Prepare a system that makes sense to you such as labeled boxes and a list of things you will be taking yourself.  Help yourself and make sure you’re ready by starting to pack some things ahead of time if you can.  Remember that it will all pay off when you’re relaxed with all of your things safe and sound just as you remember them in your new place.

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